Side Dishes

Adding Coconuts To Your Side Dishes

Side Dishes Made Perfect With Coconut

Rice, barley, quinoa and many ancient grains are wonderful side dishes, full of nutrition and easy to cook. They are all easy to prepare and can all be made following the pilaf method, where they are added to heated (coconut) oil before the liquid is added to the pot to cook them.

This method makes it easy to add all manner of interesting vegetables, herbs and spices to the pan as you heat the oil, providing the opportunity for endless variations of taste and character. The pilaf method also allows you to incorporate coconut oil in any grain you cook, and you can even prepare pastas and lentils using the same method.

Does coconut oil have potassium?

One cup (240 ml) of coconut water contains 600 mg or about 13% of the AI for potassium. Plus, it’s a good source of magnesium, calcium, sodium and manganese. For coconut oil, nope.

To prepare grains as a pilaf, begin by heating the oil in a medium saucepan. When the oil is hot, introduce the grain. If you have rinsed the grain first, leave it in the sieve to drain until you add it to the hot oil in the pot. Then stir constantly for 30 seconds to one minute before adding your liquid.

You can sauté onions, garlic, herbs or whatever else you want to add to the oil to flavor it before adding the grain. This is especially exceptional for making curried rice dishes and introducing exotic flavors like citrus and dill or citrus and basil to grains.

After the liquid is added, let the grain return to a simmer, and then reduce the heat to low and allow it to cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed. You’ll see little air holes begin to appear between the grains. Leave covered, remove from heat and let stand for another ten minutes.

The amount of liquid is generally just shy of twice the amount of grain.


As a child, this was the only method of cooking grains I was taught, and because it always turns out perfectly, I’ve never bothered to learn any other method. Particularly as most of the people who eat at my table eventually beg me to teach them how I cook my rice, or quinoa or barley. Even my adult children who have been trained in ‘the culinary arts’ still rely on this method to cook their grains.

So, even if it’s new to you, I think you’ll find that the results make it more than worth learning to do. Once you’ve mastered it, you’ll be able to expand into all kinds of new and interesting ways to dress up your grain dishes.

The coconut oil was my own adaptation, made some years back, when I began using coconut oil for just about all the cooking oil requirements in my kitchen. As a child, I learned to make this recipe using unsalted butter. But coconut oil is a lovely way to dress up the flavor and it adds all those great MCFAs to the food.

You can use any heat stable fat for this cooking method, I just find coconut works perfectly so I don’t bother using anything else anymore.

Make sure to check out our Side Dishes Recipes!

Originally posted 2020-07-11 09:16:23.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top